Growth and migration patterns of juvenile temperate seabass Lateolabrax japonicus in the Yura River estuary, Japan—combination of stable isotope ratio and otolith microstructure analyses
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It is important to know the characteristics of migration pattern and vital rates of juveniles to understand the early life history and its effect on the population dynamics of fishes. The relationship between growth and migration pattern of juvenile temperate seabass Lateolabrax japonicus in the Yura River estuary was examined by combination of stable carbon isotope ratio (δ13C) and otolith microstructure. Gut fullness indices were also examined to know the feeding condition of juveniles. δ13C values of seabass juveniles in the lower estuary and surf zone (LES) were enriched, while those in freshwater zone (FW) were depleted, consistent with δ13C differences in prey items. The back-calculated growth rates of juveniles in FW were significantly lower than those of juveniles that resided in the LES from 50 days to 90 days old, implying that juveniles with poor growth ascended the river while those with better growth remained in the LES. However, the growth rates of the juveniles, which resided in FW for more than 1 month, caught up with and even overtook those of juveniles in LES within 1 month after ascended the river. The higher water temperature and better feeding conditions would contribute to better growth rates of juveniles in FW than those in LES.
KeywordsCarbon stable isotope ratio Feeding condition Density dependent Growth back-calculation Otolith microstructure analysis Partial migration
Stable isotope ratios were analyzed at the Center for Ecological Research, Kyoto University. This study was partly supported by the Coastal Ecosystem Complex Project of the Ocean Resource Use Promotion Technology Development Program, MEXT of Japan. Japanese ethical rules regarding experimental fishing were followed during this study.
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